George Clooney Weighs In On Rust Tragedy; Thinks Gun Safety Should Be The Utmost Priority

George Clooney is unhappy at the way things unfolded on the set of the indie film Rust.

On the WTF With Marc Maron podcast, Clooney addressed the Rust set incident in which a gun discharged by Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. He doesn’t think Baldwin had any intent to harm, but stresses that following the deaths of Brandon Lee and Jon-Erik Hexum — both who died due to prop guns that were used during shooting that had live rounds/fragments in the chamber — gun safety should be of the highest priority on set. 

“Every single time I’m handed a gun on the set — every time — they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it too, I show it to the crew,” Clooney said. “Every single take.” Then, “You hand it back to the armor when you’re done.” He said. Part of it is because of what happened to Brandon. Everyone does it. Everyone knows” that is the protocol to follow. “Maybe Alec did that — hopefully he did do that. But the problem is dummies are tricky because they look like real [rounds]. They got a little tiny hole in the back [from which] somebody’s [removed] the gunpowder.”

On-set prop guns have such a realistic look and because of this, Clooney double and triple checks to make sure the prop isn’t dangerous.

“I mean every time I get handed a six-gun,” or a gun that holds six cartridges, “you point it at the ground and you squeeze it six times,” Clooney said, noting “It’s just insane” not to.

The actor also laments the term “cold gun,” which was what the gun that shot was described on the set of Rust to denote it was safe for use.  

“I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun,’” Clooney said of his years of movie-making. “I’ve never heard that term. Literally. They’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating.”

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